GET BACK UP ON YOUR TOWER
Do you need a wake-up call? Do you need a shift in your faith for answers in prayer? Then Habakkuk is for you. This little prophetic book talks a big talk. Habakkuk for me has been a reminder of who I am called to be, my gifts and calling. And this calling is for everyone, this call is for all Christians everywhere. This is the call to pray! This is the call to stand for unanswered prayer in our families, to stand for a breakthrough in our own lives and in our churches. That is a call that we all have, and as you read Habakkuk you will feel the Holy Spirit renewing that call again, I did!
The first thing I want to point out is when you read Habakkuk you can get into the “normality” of someone crying out to God and then the “Lord answering” and then again, the person crying out to God and then at the right time and in perfect order the Lord answers. But the longer you are a Christian you realise that this doesn’t happen in this order or this swiftly. And at times this discouraging reality can stop us from crying out to God altogether.
The thing about Habakkuk is we don’t know how long it took for God to answer – it really doesn’t give us the reality. It should read “Habakkuk’s Complaint” and then 31 days of praying, interceding and impatiently waiting for God to answer him in frustration and after almost giving up “The Lord answered”. But it doesn’t. It puts it plainly and simply without the agonising wait in between. Have you been in a situation where you have waited a long time for God to answer you, you may be in that situation right now? Today as you read Habakkuk I want you to grab the simplicity and faith that just as he did for Habakkuk, God will answer you! It’s not if he answers you, it’s he will answer you. Get that faith back into your prayer life, we are called to be vessels of prayer and prophecy and God is calling us back to our authority in prayer through this powerful little book.
The next thing that Habakkuk showed me was that God answers in his own way. It will be the most frustrating, faith-challenging and patience-developing way but God will answer you! Can you see in Habakkuk that the answers that God gives are detailed and at times contradictory to what the prophet wants to hear? I love the wrestle that happens in Habakkuk’s life when he receives the answers from God. To get the full picture of this wrestle read Habakkuk in The Message Bible. God answers Habakkuk and says he is going to use the enemy of Judah, Babylon, to bring judgement on Judah. And Habakkuk is shocked, he is crying out to God to solve the injustice and then God makes the situation (to him anyway) more unjust, and uses their enemy. Habakkuk cries out to God again “Who is going to then take care of the Babylonians?” Look at Habakkuk 1:12 “God, you’re from eternity, aren’t you? Holy God, we aren’t going to die, are we? God, you chose Babylonians for your judgment work? Rock-solid God, you gave them the job of discipline? But you can’t be serious! You can’t condone evil! So why don’t you do something about this? Why are you silent now?” This is so honest and true. Have you prayed a prayer like this, “God you can’t be serious, this is not your answer, is it?” I have. This is the moment that you have to remember that you are created, he is Creator. Don’t lose heart or try and take on the answer yourself, as Habakkuk eventually does, this is the time to trust God and continue in your faith that God is good and knows so much more than you do. Take heart, when you ask God to answer you and he does something that seems completely opposite, trust that he see’s the big picture and that your role in this is to keep the faith and keep praying.
I got so much out of this little book; another thing is this, I am amazed how in control God is when situations seem so out of control. Imagine Habakkuk in the historical climate that we heard about in the Snapshot and God says I am going to use the Babylonians to bring my justice on the people – and then goes on to say how terrible they are in 1:6-11. That means that God is aware of the actions of the Babylonians and is also in control of their actions, so much so that he can use them for his glory. Never underestimate God’s power over circumstances, you may think that situations are firmly in the hand of the enemy, but God can use any person, situation and nation for his purpose and plan. No matter how far away from God they seem to be.
Warning, if you want to stay where you are in your prayer life, don’t read Habakkuk! Studying this book will give you a fresh call to pray and to prophesy. The New Testament says that we are all called to desire to and to prophesy:
1 Corinthians 14:1
Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.
1 Corinthians 14:39
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy and do not forbid speaking in tongues. But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.
As you read Habakkuk, let the gift of prophecy that you have as a believer, stir in you. Now I know that sometimes people are turned off by weird prophetic people that take the gift out of order and way too far. We have all had the prophecy from the weird person that tells us that God hates us and we are doomed, I even got one that said I was sent from Satan, it was so encouraging. ☺ But for me, the gift of prophecy is very normal in our Christianity and is powerful in speaking what God wants over your life; encouragement, comfort and exhortation (1 Corinthians 14:3). You may never prophesy in public but you can be a prophetic voice to your family, to your business, to your neighbours, to your own situations. A loving, not weird, normal voice to those who need God’s guidance in their lives. That’s you!
I love Habakkuk 2:1 “I will stand at my watch, station myself on the ramparts. I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint.” As Christians this is our call, to stand and watch, to cry out to God in prayer and to cry out for the answer of God and then to wait openly for what God will say to us.
I loved the commentary on StudyLight.com on Habakkuk 2:1:
I will stand upon my watch - The prophets are always represented as watchmen, watching constantly for the comfort, safety, and welfare of the people; and watching also to receive information from the Lord: for the prophetic influence was not always with them, but was granted only at particular times, according to the will of God. When, in doubtful cases, they wished to know what God was about to do with the country, they retired from society and gave themselves to meditation and prayer, waiting thus upon God to hear what he would say to them.
Be stirred as you read Habakkuk, take time out to go and pray when you have a need, Habakkuk is calling us to take our stand over our family, our church, our community and hear the voice of God over every situation. If today you need answers, this is your first step, take up your position again and pray.
Immediately after this verse we see the Lord answer him, saying “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald my run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay”
There is an order to this, did you notice that?
STAND AT MY WATCH – stand back up in your authority in prayer – Ephesians 6
STATION MYSELF ON THE TOWER – get back to the position that God has called you to in prayer, watching from the tower, not caught up in the midst of the mess. Stand in your authority that Jesus has won for you on the cross.
LOOK TO SEE WHAT HE WILL SAY TO ME AND THE ANSWER I AM TO GIVE TO THIS COMPLAINT – open your spiritual ears again to hear what God is going to say to you – Psalm 121:1 and trust him that the answer is good and the best one for the situation
WRITE DOWN THE REVELATION – write down his answer
MAKE IT PLAIN ON TABLETS – make it plain so you can run with it
The order is so important in these instructions. If you try and hear what God is saying to you without first getting yourself back up on the tower, it is very hard to hear from a place of discouragement or in the midst of the mess. You need to get back to the place of authority, in your place of prayer. Now, this is a spiritual stance of height, but if you need to go to a mountain or high place to feel this sense then go for it! From that high position, pray over your circumstances so you can hear what God is saying to you. Then wait for the answer, he will answer you in his way.
Then once you get the answer from God, write it down, plainly. The reason that you do this is so that you are not discouraged – God explains, for the revelation awaits an appointed time, it speaks of the end (or future) and will not prove false. The reason that you write it down is so when it lingers, you can wait for the answer; it will come and won’t delay. Having it written down helps you to remember it, helps to remind you of what it says.
Lastly, before we finish there is one more step to this, it is found in Habakkuk 3:18. This verse says YET I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. Yet, meaning despite all my circumstances, despite the wait, despite everything I see that contradicts what God has said to me, Yet I will rejoice in the Lord. So, rejoice today, because God has the answer for every situation you face – you may be in the YET section of your life, but in this season rejoice in the Sovereign Lord who is our strength. Take up the call “I will stand at my watch, I will station myself on the tower. I will look to see what he will say to me and YET I will rejoice in the Lord!
Today I pray that if you are in need of answers, it may be with family, businesses, in your personal life, in your children’s lives, get back on your watch. Don’t let discouragement get you to come down from your tower of authority, open your ears again to hear the voice of God speaking answers over you and your family. Then when he speaks, write it down so you can continue in faith no matter how long it takes to see in the natural and YET rejoice and praise him until you see it!
So as you read Habakkuk, watch this incredible prophet wrestle with the answers of God and come out in faith, trusting that God is good, and when he answers, it may take faith to follow but God knows best! Rejoice today for He is in control of everything and everyone!